• Brian Castle

What a Year

Like practically everyone else, I’m ready to stick a fork in 2020. It’s been a year of unspeakable tragedy worldwide. In our country alone, hundreds of thousands are dead, with even more dealing with what will be lifelong health problems from the novel coronavirus. Thousands of businesses have closed or are on the brink of doing so. People are unemployed and families are going hungry. The holidays have arrived, and those of us who’ve survived are just relieved to be here.

We were on the brink ourselves here at Parklife this past spring, as the virus hit the economy and our clients like a wrecking ball. But somehow, we made it through. After experiencing real adversity, we came out the other side stronger and with an expanded team.

Thanks to our resilient clients, it’s been a year of growth for us, in spite of it all. As we discussed on our latest podcast episode, 2020 is the year of the woman for us at Parklife. We brought in some amazing new clients, a group of women entrepreneurs working in executive coaching and leadership development, construction, and social innovation. Special thanks to LK Browning, Cindy Cottle, and Ashley Sharp for believing in us and our ability to help you tell your stories.

A dynamic pair of strong, creative women—Annie Astraikis and Taylor Farace—brought their considerable talents, warmth, and passion to our team in 2020. Having come to my creative profession as a mid-life career change, I never take for granted that working with creative people is perhaps the best kind of work one can do. Annie and Taylor have made this little enterprise feel more like a team, and they’ve helped Suzette and me bring new energy to our work. Speaking of Suzette: You continue to amaze me on a weekly basis with your versatility, the quality of your work, your strategic mind, and above all else, your big heart for helping others, whether it’s a client or your teammate.

I’ve been blessed to work with a lot of talented creatives through the years, and I wouldn’t trade this group for anyone.

2020 will go down as a year like no other, but my overwhelming sensibility here at year’s end is one of gratitude. I am thankful for it all. I am thankful for our new clients. I’m also thankful for the ones who left us after nice runs that helped us build relationships and do great work together. I’m thankful still for the new teammates and collaborators that 2020 brought us. Finally, I’m just thankful that we are still standing and able to see the promise of what lies ahead in 2021.

To all of the people in our Parklife community, I wish you a safe, healthy, and warm holiday season. We look forward to the sense of renewal and possibility in the year that lies ahead for our nation and our world.

About the Author

Brian Castle is Parklife’s Founder.